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The Message of the Qur'an: The full account of the revealed Arabic text accompanied by parallel transliteration (English and Arabic Edition) Hardcover – December 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Professor Abdel Haleem (fatal mistakes in translating key words, which he does not reference to either explanations by the Prophet or any proper source).The text is good to introduce concepts to people unfamiliar with the Islamic context however it does significantly deviate from the Islamic context by incorporating the ideas of another religion in its translation. Haleem in another text (Understanding the themes of the Quran by Haleem) mentions and forwarns of comparative translations; an error that he is susceptible to himself. However considering this is the first edition I am referring to, I would think it would be somewhat lacking of intense revision.
I found lacking in the translation of the first 19 verse of Surah Gaffir/Mumin and also Key verses of Al-Baqarah such as the Aayat-Al-Kursi and even verses of Surah Al-Anaam. I like his explanations, his tranlsation is more about explaning key issues of the Quran in a very basic way to suite a person reading the Quran just to get an Idea of what the scripture teaches and what in means in "Plain English". However all generalizations are susceptible to serious error.
Al Amana version of Yusuf Ali and also Dar-Ul Furqan version
(OK but once again has a lot of lakings and errors). THese individuals are too arrogant in their tranlastion where they interpret certain surahs with absolutely no authentic basis. They claim that the Surah Ikhlas was to debase the Christian trinitarian beliefs... how they come to this conclusion is by mere speculation but they incorperate it in such a way that an individual is led to falsely believe it to be the truth. This and Fakhry are by far the worst translations and it is shameful to say that they come from so called "Muslim" sources. I am certain that even children can point out some of the serious mistakes in these two translations. Read Surah Ikhlas and read the footnotes in this translation, you will also find flaws. That was enough for me to be unsatisfied with this translation. And if you may compare it to the explanation of Asad, the relativity of eloquence and explanation is as extreme as the distance between heaven and hell.
Muhsin Khan (King Fahd's sanctioned and also Dar-us-salam).
(This is a precise book, renders the Quran properly especially the abridged version). I found this book to give adequate proof in its tranlsation of the meaning of the Quran. However there are points where the choice of words and explanations are too generalized and inarticulate. I had issues with how As-Samad was translated and the explanation given about it. I look for a translation of the Quran which has no flaw, nor is it subjective in any way. Khan's translation is very much true to the authentic creed of Islam and its translation is harmonious to what is taught about the scripture in most religious institutions. Therefore it is one of the more cost effective and precise renderings.
(Has errors and lacks depth in explanation; I guess due to it being the first edition). Although Al-Azhar accredits this text, I fail to think it serves anyone but the author in generating royalties. I mean I was so dissapointed in buying this translation, it lacked thought, intelligence and at points I thought it was hebetudinous to such an extent that I was contemplating a refund. Fakhry's other writings suggest that he is completely deviated from what is the authentic Islamic school of thought regardless of his education. His other works are too philosophical and speculative whereas his translation of the Quran is open-ended without much explanations on key words of the Quran most of which have no english equivalents. How these were treated by him suggest a high level of inaccuaracy in the remaining body of the text. The translation obviously lacks explanation and justification, without either an individual can only assume the negative that the author/translater did not consider the various possiblities in translation. IT IS VERY CRUDE A TRANSLATION and is more directed towards Christian explanations than Islamic which robs the Quran of its authentic meaning. The Quran by nature is a scripture of Muslims and in saying so it has deliberations upon it by the Prophet Mohammad and also various Islamic scholars. Fakhry does not cite any (to my understanding) in his translation.
(stay away from this book, dont even touch it with a stick.)
This is one of those fund raising translations where a devout individual shares thought of his religion. However who is to say whether or not "his" thoughts indeed reflect the authentic creed.
Usage of Archaic language and the original translation had errors almost on every page. After constant and consistent correction has it seen the light of day in a populace fashion. Both Ali and Pichthal are popular due to their mass circulation in countries such as Pakistan, India and Indonesia. This is because there are no real copyright issues and publishing companies can publish them however they wish. I have seen various textual differences in Pichkthal and Ali translations based on them coming from different publishing agents. Which is the real Pickthal and Ali is now beyond me. Even Al-Amana have added their 10 cents to Yusuf Ali's translation and to my understanding contaminating it further in various instances.
And finally to Asad:
I find Asad's interpretation to be the most bona-fide and coherent, it is scrupulously referenced so he does not give his opinion rather quotes some of the greatest scholars after the manifestation of the Quran such as Zamakshari, Ibn Kathir as well as Qurtubi to name a few.
Asad's translation is the the best, undoutedly this version supercedes all others. I have read this particular version and as I know there are various in circulation (esp with Yusuf Ali) I suggest you get this version.
If you are interested in the Quran, or anyone for that matter even one who understands proper Arabic I still suggest you get this book. It is a key in understanding the Quran. Regardless of whether you know or are oblivious to the Arabic tongue. THe Quran is a legacy of humanity. Regardless of whether you are a Muslim or not it has impacted on Human thought and has changed social norms as we once knew it.
It is a piece of history and very much an inlay in the fabric of humanity. The final text of the semetic religions which is said to be the synergy of all that preceeded it.
I have personally read various scriptures and I find that the Quran has its valid standing. People often claim it is a copy of the Torah/Tanakh or the Bible however I feel although that it has inherent qualities from the preceeding scriptures it does have a nature and spirit of its own. Regardless of how others see it or portray it, it is your own opinion that should matter to you. So instead of finding and agreeing to the opinions of others of whether or not it is a valid scripture or a militant propaganda I suggest that you, yourselves have a read and read that which does infact reflect the authentic creed.
I personally found this scripture to be inspiring, to increase the level of human consciousness inside of me and finally understand that the Quran is a source of divine inspiration as opposed to a tool of destruction (as I, prior to reading it so percieved).
My perception has changed, and I carried a study of the Quran as I did with the Bhagawad Gita. Both these books are beautiful in their composition and their message. I would strongly recommend any individual to give this book a read.
Love and Regards,
a little voice.
It is said that there are seven layers of meaning to every verse of the Quran. Asad is seeking this depth in his translation.
The extensive commentaries are remarkable and the insight he provides as a scholar on some of the verses do differ quite a bit from the more 'common' understandings but I firmly believe they are more in the 'spirit' of Islam and less influenced from the outside than many translations and subsequent commentaries such as Ali's.
While Pickthall and Ali are quite literal in their interpretation, by remaining so close to the text, something is often missed. And unless one knows Arabic and is familiar with how the various verses, as a whole, are understood in the light of the Sunnah of the Prophet, the Quran, in English, can be a challenging text, especially from a Western point of view.
Asad's translation bridges this gap quite well and continued to leave me baffled as the Islam I thought I had come to know appeared much brighter in his translation.
I am an American born Muslim (Pakistani descent). I have been raised here, and schooled here, and so have a western perspective of events and history. What I like about Asad's translation is that it is written by a "westerner," who was formerly a Viennese Jew. As such, he carries the gestalt of the West (rationalism, the Enlightenment, evolution, etc.).
In contrast, Yusuf Ali, carries a certain cultural baggage derived from his experiences in India. The effects of British colonialism probably colored his world view, and my recollection (I read his translation many years ago) is that this coloring displays itself in his translation. I guess I would characterize his translation and commentary consistent with liberation theology-which is fine, but is of a certain view that many in the West may not identify.
Asad's translation and commentary, on the other hand, incorporates many of our modern understandings of the world into his explanation. So for example, evolution is considered a natural process operating as part of the ordered universe just as the laws of gravity, electricity, etc. These are the signs of God, that Muslims are required to believe. Many Muslims who are not from the West, cannot reconcile modern understandings of science with faith. Just like the fundamentalist Christian community, they cannot integrate evolution (and its theological ramifications) into their faith (as a corollary, it is worthy to note that many scientists-call them darwinian fundamentalist- cannot integrate religion into science). In Islam, there is no separation between science and religion. All of your actions in physical reality are part of your Islam, and an expression of your religious faith. Obtaining knowledge through science is also part of your submission to God's will-your Islam. Asad's interpretation repeatedly affirms this.
Asad's explanations and commentary are illuminating. He explains phenomenon, like miracles, in a way that don't require the reader to suspend his belief in the normal physical laws of daily experience. You are not required to believe in phenomenon that run contrary to objective experience. For example, in the Bible, Jesus is said to have healed the blind and raised the dead to the living. Ordinary experience tells us that physically these things are impossible, but you are required to have faith that these suspended laws of physical reality actually occurred. Asad's explanation is that in Islam, people who are closed to the God's spiritual message as relayed through the prophets, are blind to the obvious truth of God. They are spiritually dead. Jesus's miracle, was to pass his grace onto his followers, and make those whose hearts were hardened against God (blind and spiritually dead), to see the truth and to become spiritually alive. I find this explanation much more satisfactory than having to believe in a miracle. The explanation is far more simple and straightforward.
I highly recommend reading the Asad translation in conjunction with William Chittick's book Visions of Islam, and the Self-Disclosure of God, to really appreciate the sublime spirituality inhering to Islam. To my mind, it bestows on the reader how your conduct today carries with it spiritual and metaphysical dimensions.
In this post 9/11 world, where every "expert" on Islam opines on the violent nature of Islam as revealed through Quran, Asad's translation dispels these absurdities. Extremists in the Islamic world and the Western world would do well to read this, as well. For all reasonable people seeking to truly understand what Islam is about, read Asad's translation over any other.